At Wheaton, renovation projects are continually initiated as needed to provide the best student experience possible.
Here are a few examples of recent facilities improvements.
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The Diana Davis Spencer Discovery Center Dedicated to Free Speech and Innovation
This building was newly renovated starting in spring 2021 and named in honor of Class of 1960 alumna Diana Davis Spencer. Her deep appreciation for intellectual exploration and the breadth of the liberal arts has been the motivation for her lifetime of support for Wheaton.
The updated spaces within the 70,000-square-foot building serve as the home for multiple academic departments and classrooms, the Social Entrepreneurship Studio, and the Fab Lab makerspace.
The Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services is also located here and includes the Gertrude Adams Career Design Studio peer-mentoring program that bears the name of the mother of alumna Adrienne Bevis Mars, Class of 1958.
Whether you’re just beginning the college search, getting closer to your decision or already enrolled at Wheaton, at some point you will find yourself at the Admission building, home of the Office of Admission as well as the Office of Student Financial Services.
The building has undergone a major update that includes redesigned all gender bathrooms, new flooring and furniture, a new info session meeting space and an exterior ramp to provide accessibility. Just outside the doors of the building is a new red brick area, where the Wheaton “W” marks the spot and a lovely seating area for relishing your decision to come here. Connecting the Admission building to the Balfour-Hood Campus Center is a renovated patio with ample Wheaton blue tables with seating overlooking Chapel Field and Peacock Pond.
A new residence hall for incoming students was recently built and other first-year residences have undergone interior improvements that include new flooring and windows.
Pine Hall, Wheaton’s newest residence hall, is the latest testament to the college’s commitment to helping protect the environment and sustain the planet.
It is the first academic residence hall in the state of Massachusetts to meet Passive House standards—a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency that reduces a building’s ecological footprint. Consuming 50 percent less energy than a conventional structure, the 45,000-square-foot building features advanced HVAC and lighting systems, triple-glazed windows, solar shading, and high-performance walls and roofing.
Pine Hall has received praise from the New England Real Estate Journal for meeting strict standards in energy efficiency. The Passive House Institute US also named the residence hall as the winner of the school category at its annual design awards.
Chase Dining, Emerson Dining and the Balfour-Hood Cafe have been greatly improved in recent years with significant renovations.
Chase Dining Hall is now more sleek and eco-friendly. The building has earned honors from the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Silver certified facility based on the energy efficiency measures built into the design, its use of recycled materials and the “green” construction practices employed during the project.
Emerson, which retains its classic character, was updated with new flexible furnishings and lighting that enhances the hall’s wood paneling walls. The much-beloved space offers casual, cafe-style food options and serves as a gathering and event space for the campus.
The redesign of the cafe in the Balfour-Hood Campus Center has enabled the space to quickly serve more students, faculty and staff, as well as reinforced the location’s identity as a place that serves local and sustainably grown food.
Haas Athletic Center
A $2.3 million donor-funded renovation of Haas Athletic Center has been completed, enhancing the Wheaton experience for student-athletes as well as the entire campus community. In addition to overall infrastructure and HVAC improvements, some of the key upgrades include: a greatly expanded 1,800-square-foot strength-and-conditioning center for varsity team workouts and training; the Marcus Family Film and Media Room for staff and teams to discuss and review tactics and strategies; an updated lobby area and office suites, as well as improved landscaping.
Supporting student-athletes has been important to their success both in the classroom as well as on the playing fields. To build on that success, an anonymous alum and their spouse issued a matching gift challenge for Wheaton College Athletics to generate contributions to the Catalyst Fund that got this project underway.